Microsoft to launch cheap broadband

2013-07-26 14:37
Microsoft (Picture: AP)

Microsoft (Picture: AP)

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Cape Town - Microsoft has decided to experiment with broadband delivery for between R20 and R50 per month, a report says.

According to a report on TechCentral, the software giant will launch the pilot project in Limpopo.

The idea is to use the gaps in broadcasting frequencies - known as the white spaces - to deliver broadband speeds to users of between 2mbps and 4mbps within a 30km radius of the base station.

This project follows a similar one by Google which is underway in Cape Town.

White spaces are not generally seen as a replacement for cable broadband, but could allow for expansion of internet services in rural communities.

Spectrum

These services have been deployed commercially in the US state of New York and Australia is also considering the rollout of a similar service.

Despite the promise of broadband, there may be long term challenges with the mass commercialism of the project.

Mobile operators in SA are actively lobbying regulator Icasa (the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa) to release more spectrum to roll out higher speed LTE (Long term evolution) networks.

"With this said, MTN will continue to throw weight behind efforts to lobby for spectrum allocation to allow access to future broadband technology, today, for the benefit of our customers," MTN's chief technology officer Lambotharan Kanagaratnam told News24 of the operator's efforts to lobby for mobile broadband spectrum.

One of the delays holding up the programme has been the delay in moving broadcasters like the SABC to digital terrestrial television (DTT).

The GSMA has criticised South Africa's delay in moving toward DTT.

"There're policy makers and there're politicians. Politicians love to say things like 'South Africa will have the analogue digital transition by 2012'. They love to make these pronouncements - ambitious terms - but not necessarily backed up by reality," Peter Lyons GSMA director for spectrum policy in Africa and the Middle East told News24 recently.
Read more on:    microsoft  |  internet

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